doing best, not everything

Hopefully I can lighten your load a little bit.

I recognize that college ministry blogs provide a lot to think about. With this blog alone, I spit out some new thought or method or innovation or other potential improvement nearly every day. And there are a growing number of other blogs about college ministry.

But on top of that, there are many more campus ministry principles to be gleaned from other spheres of ministry and the marketplace. We come across them in podcasts, in books, in conferences, from friends, and otherwise floating around in the air.

I know it can be pretty frustrating to have all these methods to try, new books or articles or blogs to read, new ideas to ponder. I’ve been there (I’m there now). It’s overwhelming.

So whether you’re a regular reader or just opened up this blog for the first time today, I want to encourage you as yet another quarter or semester gets underway:

  1. No individual college ministry should incorporate every good thing. There’s no way any ministry could incorporate every good principle its leaders stumble upon – and not every “good” principle is a right fit for the ministry, either. In my case, part of the fun of writing a daily blog is maximizing the chances I’ll give you something you can use each week! If you benefit even more than that, all the better!
  2. There’s a difference between a good idea, and a good idea for right now. A big part of developing a strong campus mission is knowing what’s needed next, not just what’s needed. Some of my posts, some ideas from that conference you attended, some key points from the book you just read – your ministry doesn’t need them now… but in a year, they’ll fit your ministry like a glove. Take good notes, but don’t burden yourself with having to apply everything today.
  3. Your job is to build your best possible campus mission. Discerning where your ministry could and should be stronger – all things considered – is the key. It’s best to recognize your ministry’s limits, and then to thrive in whatever size terrarium you’ve been given. When I sit down with college ministers to discuss their ministries, I don’t just throw out all possible “tweaks” that come to mind (and let me tell you, a lot can come to mind)! I try to help each leader sort through a few steps they could take to move toward their Best Campus Mission.
  4. It’s possible to get good at discerning what’s needed. As I wrote in a post last week, it doesn’t seem that trial-and-error should be our standard M.O. The God who starts our ministries is the God who establishes them – and He delights in us being a part of that process. We can learn to discern, and maybe that’s something worth incorporating next.

(I added a couple of posts later this week on determining what we should add next. Click here for that!)

Be encouraged! You can be a learner without being a perfectionist. It’s good and right to feel a tension between where you are and where you could be – as long as we can trust in God’s goodness (concerning our present portion) and His ability (to strengthen our ministry as we go forward).

Meanwhile, I am so, so thankful for you who read this blog. Last week, in fact, I had the second most hits of any week so far – and nearly as many as the best week ever back in December. Thanks for the visits, the comments, the contact, and the encouragement.


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  1. PC

    Thank you for this post!

    I was just thinking about this very thing earlier this week. I get so inundated with great thought and ideas for ministry. When you are constantly reading about great ideas and thoughts like this, not only do you certainly feel overwhelmed, but you can also lean toward feeling inadequate.

    “I really SHOULD be doing all these things. Because I’m not, I must be doing a poor job.”

    Thank you for this post. Truly important!

  2. Pingback: thinking through your college ministry’s nexts « Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes about our field)

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